Hope & Life - December 2022

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December 2022
The biannual newsletter of Pregnancy Assistance Inc. Hope & Life

Floor Leadership

Person in Charge (PiC)

Lisette Jas

Deputy Person in Charge (DPiC)

Carmel Randazzo

Patrons

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton

Board

Chair Thomas Seeber

Contents

About Us

Message from the Chair 2

The Shape of Our Hearts 3

A Light that shines in the Darkness 4 An Unplanned Pregnancy 6

The Kaleidoscope of Motherhood 8 Support Us to Support Others 8

Thank you 9

Deputy Chair Ryan Wiles Secretary Carina McPherson Treasurer Ralph Bergmann Board Member Sarah Paverd-Joyce Board Member Veronica Bogoni Contact

Pregnancy Assistance Inc.

Elizabeth’s House 195 Lord Street, East Perth 6004 T 9328 2929

E info@pregnancyassistance.org.au

Visiting Hours

Mon - Fri 10am - 3pm

Phone Hours

Mon - Fri 9am - 3.30pm

You are welcome to visit us in this quiet oasis in the city. Mass is celebrated here and the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in our Chapel. If you would like to celebrate with us or spend an hour with Our Lord in adoration please contact Carmel or Lisette on 9328 2929.

After hours by appointment

About Us

Who are we and what do we do?

Pregnancy Assistance Inc. is an independent Catholic organisation initiated by Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey in 1996. We provide compassionate care and emotional, practical and informative support to women in need throughout their pregnancy and post birth. We also offer counselling for women and men impacted by pregnancy loss (miscarriage, still birth and abortion). Our services are extended to all people irrespective of religion, race, demographic or personal values.

Our free and confidential services include:

• Pregnancy testing

• Pregnancy care consultation

• Professional counselling

• Post abortion care & grief counselling

• Accommodation assistance

• Practical support – bassinets, baths, nappies & clothes, maternity clothes

• Financial assistance

• Advocacy & support services referral

Who knocks on our door?

Anyone effected by pregnancy who is in need of support! We provide assistance to pregnant women who are distressed due to one or more of the following;

• Unexpected pregnancy

• Abortion concerns

• Financial hardship

• Domestic violence

• Homelessness

• Relationship breakdown

• Mental health

• Grief/loss

• Drug addiction

Our Centre (lovingly nicknamed Elizabeth’s House) in East Perth is open for appointment (telephone or face to face) and allows for pop-ins. Individuals are also welcome to metaphorically ‘knock on our door’ by contacting us via e-mail or Facebook.

What method do we use when talking about abortion?

We utilise Heartbeat International’s L.O.V.E. approach when pregnant women come to us in distress over whether to keep, adopt out or abort their baby. Pregnancy Assistance was founded on Christian values and offers its services as an alternative to abortion. We believe our counselling approach allows the woman to focus on her own needs. We try to awaken a vision in her for a healthy life for herself and her baby. We share information about options she needs to consider to make a life-giving decision. However, under no circumstances do we believe we have the right to impose upon a woman’s decision. We will continue to support and welcome back individuals who have made choices that differ with the personal values of Pregnancy Assistance’s volunteer base.

Who supports us?

God supports the operations of Pregnancy Assistance by providing the right resources at the right time. And you are part of that providence! Pregnancy Assistance operates through the generosity of its supporters and we thank you. Your support gives Hope and Life, so please (if you haven’t already) donate and get involved. We especially thank the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth for providing our rental costs.

Message from the Chair

Dear friends of Pregnancy Assistance,

At our recent AGM I was reminded, once again, of the value of our staff and volunteers. From our pregnancy care consultants, through to photographers, bookkeepers, counsellors, board members, and those who offer prayers; what we do at Pregnancy Assistance simply would not be possible without them. In the modern era of liabilities and insurances, some paid staff are essential. However, it is the volunteers and the volunteered time that keeps our costs low and maximises our offering for those in need. On 10th November we hosted our annual thankyou lunch for volunteers. On behalf of the board, I wish to formally extend my gratitude to all our staff and volunteers.

Each year we hold a Thanksgiving Mass and morning tea at St Mary’s Cathedral. This mass honours the Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe which occurs on December 12th. Our Lady of Guadalupe has been Pregnancy Assistance’ Spiritual Patron from the start of its existence, given that she appeared to Juan Diego while pregnant and is considered the patron saint of the unborn. This is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the important work of Pregnancy Assistance and to give thanks to the Lord for sustaining us.

2 Hope and Life

The Shape of Our Hearts

Images of hearts are everywhere. They adorn jewellery, cards, cakes, chocolates, emojis, clothing, and even kitsch souvenirs, universally signifying love and affection.

Recently at a youth event we asked young people to decorate a heart through creating a card for a new mother. As we collaged, conversation sparked; What would you like to say to a new Mum? What would a new Mum need to hear?

On their cards, heart images are full of different colours, textures, shapes, and words are full of encouragement and care.

No matter what’s on your path it will be alright. You are doing great. Things are going to be okay. It is okay to ask for help.

Most of all their messages echo love from the heart. The Latin word for heart is ‘cor’. Our hearts are quite literally the ‘Cor’ and centre of our being. They are the homes of love, of our capacity to be loved and to give love.

I may not know your story, but I do know that you are loved…you are loved and your baby is so loved.

When we love through our actions, prayers, and words we send out green shoots of life. They grow, spread and multiply.

This love is the shape of heart, mission, and service.

3 Hope and Life

A light that shines in the darkness

As I sit at my desk in the Pregnancy Assistance offices, listening while someone responds softly to a phone call, or as the door bell chimes with a visit from a client, I am always struck by the fact that what we do reaches so far and wide. Word really does get around that we are here if someone needs help. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told by a client that ‘so and so’ said we could help. I’m smiling while I write this, as it feels like the ‘word is on the street’ …. Just where it should be really!

And what’s even more astonishing to me, is that we are situated in a small, relatively insignificant spot, on a busy road, where the sound of sirens can frequently be heard on any given day. Some of them are almost certainly ambulances, rushing to the aid of someone.

PA are a bit like that. Whilst we are not ‘rushing’ out, so to speak, the aid we can give is definitely a lifeline for many in crisis. I sense we are a small beacon of hope in a world of uncertainties with lots of moving parts, a little like a lighthouse flashing in a storm. The hard situations many of our clients find themselves in often leaves them questioning not only themselves with their newly pregnant bodies, but also whether there is any hope, and if really and truly, anything can honestly be done to help them. They want their baby, but they are surrounded by hardship and financial constraints that means making ends meet just sometimes doesn’t happen. And then our beacon of light can shine out across those troubled waters.

It’s quite poetic to think of it like that, but for us to then step in and be able to offer relief in the form of some practical support, counselling, or even liaising with other charities who can also help, makes such an enormous difference to so many.

What also brings light into their eyes, is just sitting down and sharing a coffee and listening. For many of our clients it feels their world is spinning so fast, they often don’t feel they are heard. Sometimes they just want to talk, to tell someone how they feel, what they fear, what will the future bring? Even if we don’t have all the answers, they are grateful for the simple fact that someone, in a little house on a busy road, cares enough to share moments with them, and give understanding and acceptance.

4 Hope and Life

Quite often, the phone call or the knock at the door, isn’t someone needing help at all. It’s a kind donor wondering if they can give to us. ‘Oh yes please!!!! Our ladies would be so grateful!’ I say this a lot. The kindness of those wanting to give is an acknowledgement of those less fortunate, and there is always a blessing to be had in giving. It is also a joy to discover just how many other charities there are out there working hard to bring relief to the suffering, but more than anything it’s a privilege to work alongside everyone at Pregnancy Assistance, and be part of a team that is a beacon of light in the midst of the storms of life.

Two thousand years ago, a star shone into dark skies, guiding the weak and the lowly to a place of wonder where a Saviour was born. And we will soon celebrate that moment, hopefully with much happiness, so it’s nice to think that a house in the middle of Perth can also bring light into darkness, and clarity out of confusion for those who come calling.

5 Hope and Life

An Unplanned Pregnancy

There is nothing like the shock of finding out you are pregnant when you did not plan it...

It happens perhaps more than we might think. We might hear someone say, with a wry smile, that their youngest child was their parents ‘special little surprise’. In some families this may mean they while unexpected they are quickly able to feel some excitement for the arrival of their baby. For those that are already struggling however the news of a pregnancy can be very distressing.

The negative feelings experienced by some women upon finding out they are pregnant aren’t typically directed towards the unborn baby, but rather the situation. Some people may also be triggered by the pregnancy due to trauma they have experienced, such as previous miscarriages, traumatic births or general concerns about the health of them or their baby. Others may find the pregnancy challenges their own sense of who they are as person, as they didn’t see themselves as ‘a young Mum’ or a ‘single Mum’. Others may have other children and are already struggling to take care of them, have financial concerns, or have just broken up with their significant other - and the idea of another child to look after is simply overwhelming.

6 Hope and Life

We see many, many different scenarios at Pregnancy Assistance, and can quite often offer comfort to women that they are not alone in their feelings. At times, there may be the added complexity of women being ashamed of the feelings they have about their unplanned pregnancy thinking they ‘shouldn’t feel this way’ or ‘should feel excited’. Perhaps some of their family and friends don’t understand why they feel the way they do, so the path ahead feels lonely with no-one knowing that they are going through a season of grief. Sometimes the grief is for the person they were prior to being pregnant or simply for the life they had planned for themselves.

Our counsellors at Pregnancy Assistance work to acknowledge any pain or loss that women are experiencing when they come to us. One word we hear a lot at Pregnancy Assistance when we first meet with someone is the word ‘impossible’. For us who work here we know that impossible usually describes a feeling and not fact. At the beginning the fears feel so real that you easily mistake them as inevitable. That’s why at Pregnancy Assistance we partner with our clients to awaken a healthy vision of her future – that is full of hope! These courageous women inspire us each day in how to do the impossible and find joy beyond their obstacles.

7 Hope and Life

The Kaleidoscope of Motherhood

Being a mother is wearing your heart outside of your body For the rest of your life, maybe more It’s joy and worry and heartache and fear all mixed in like a wonderful kaleidoscope of love So many colours

Being a mother is bearing the weights of a thousand rocks On your shoulders, every day Yet we bear those rocks and more, gladly Given the choice, again and again

Being a mother is laughter and noise and messy kisses It’s soft hugs and salty tears to wipe away Motherhood is joy like you’ve never known before With pain and confusion Am I enough?

Not being a mother is the hardest journey for some women to take They would walk on glass, for eternity To hold that little soul in their arms Such grief Such loss

Having a mother is a blessing not bestowed on all of us She is your safe place, your anchor, your home When she is gone, the world is amiss and you’d give Anything you have and more For one more hug

For the mothers, the daughters, the aunties, the carers, the foster parents the teachers and anyone who takes a child into their hearts You are blessed, you are loved You are celebrated Today

8 Hope and Life
Donna Ashworth

Support Us to Support Others

It is our aim to have the baby room tidy and well stocked. As we rely solely on donations we are always in need of :

Formula Nappies

Toiletries for bub Toiletries for mum Wipes

Baby baths

Bassinets

Baby clothes Maternity Clothes

The mums-to-be benefit so much from all you donate and so we thank you for your generosity!

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Hope and Life

Thank You

Thank you for continually supporting us in achieving our principal objectives – “To provide relief of poverty, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution, or helplessness for pregnant women of all sections of the public irrespective of race, colour or creed.”

Pregnancy Assistance Inc. solely relies on private donations. We are an ACNC registered charity, and all monetary donations above $2 are fully tax-deductable. Your generous support gives and changes lives and allows people to taste just how sweet and good hope and life truly is.

Your

Makes

Name/Corporation: Date: Address: Postcode: Email:

tax deductible I make the following donation to Pregnancy Assistance Inc. of $
monthly
cheque/money order: made payable and addressed:
Assistance Inc. PO
By Direct payment:
Assistance Inc. | Westpac |
| Acc 306953
Number:
Name on card: 3 digit verification number:
Mastercard Visa
Donation
A Difference The Archdiocese pays for our rent but for all else we rely entirely on God speaking to your heart! Pregnancy Assistance Inc. PO Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 T: (08) 9328 2926 Donations over $2.00 are
once only
By
Pregnancy
Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 Online: www.pregnancyassist.com.au
Pregancy
BSB 036014
Card
Expiry:
Signature: Date: /
By including us in your will.
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